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Tribune Impact
Punjab PMT cancelled
Jagtar Singh Sidhu and Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 6
In less than 24 hours after a news report on the leakage of Punjab PMT-2005 question paper appeared in these columns, the Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Dr J.S. Gujral, today cancelled the same. Recommendations in this regard were forwarded to the state government late this evening.

The sources in the Punjab Government said the examination was cancelled after the Vice-Chancellor found out that the question paper in possession of The Tribune was indeed a copy of one handed over to the candidates. This is, perhaps, the first time in the state’s history that an entrance examination has been cancelled.

Giving details, the sources said the Vice-Chancellor, after receiving a copy of the question paper from The Tribune during a Press conference held earlier in the evening, compared it with the original to find the two identical.

The sources said the paper, in all probability, had leaked from the binding section. “Someone managed to pull three sheets out of the total 12 and circulated the same”, they said. “The questions contained in the examination paper with the newspaper are at serial number 23 to 66 and 140 to 183.”

The sources added that the matter was likely to be handed over to the Punjab Police for catching the culprit. Dr Gujral, when contacted, said he was left with no other option but to cancel the examination as the career of students could not be compromised with. He added that the probe would now be carried out to fix responsibility.

Earlier in the evening, the state’s Medical Education and Research Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal directed the Secretary, Medical Education, Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, to ascertain the facts. The Secretary was asked to submit a detailed report after completing the probe as early as possible, preferably within the next 48 hours.

Before that, the Vice-Chancellor also announced a high level probe into the leakage, adding that formal orders in this regard would be issued on Tuesday. Addressing a Press conference from his residence-cum-camp office in Sector 27, Dr Gujral said the names of the inquiry officers would be made public within the next day or two and the report would be submitted within a week or so. The officers in all probability would be from outside the University.

The Vice-Chancellor added that the admission process would not be affected by the probe as the counselling was scheduled to start in the first week of next month. He added that the guilty would not be spared once the allegations of paper leakage were established. Dr Gujral said he would stay in his camp office for the next two days so as to enable persons concerned to bring whatever material they had to establish the allegations.

He, however, refused to provide the question paper handed over to the students for comparison with the one in The Tribune’s possession. “I have absolutely no reasons to doubt the authenticity of the news report, but we would take necessary action after following the due procedure,” Dr Gujral added.

As far as the declaration of results in the evening of the examination day was concerned, he denied the allegations of showing undue haste. “We were simply following the prescribed procedure.”

Dr Gujral added that he was surprised to read about the leakage of the question paper because theirs was more or less a foolproof method. “The question papers are dispatched to the centres between 3.30 am and 4.30 am to avoid the possibility of leakage,” he said,

It may be recalled that all 88 questions faxed to The Tribune a day before the examinations were part of the question paper taken by the students in Amritsar, Faridkot, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala.



PMT racket in state: candidates
Chitleen K. Sethi

Mohali, June 6
Many toppers of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class XII examination have failed to make it to the PMT.

Alleging that “gross irregularities” took place at some of the PMT centres yesterday, many candidates and their parents today stated that a racket of “PMT agents” was running in the state. Its members had been indulging in leak of question papers every year.

Father of a candidate pointed out that at least four candidates, entered room No E105 in centre No 3 at Thapar Institute, Patiala, only 15 minutes before the end of the examination. They had been sitting in a white ambassador all through. In room No E107, the examination continued for 20 minutes behind the stipulated time, he added.

According to the information gathered from some of the parents, parts of the question paper had been in the possession of certain “agents” who worked in various cities across the state as career counsellors or application-form sellers. They had “contacted” the parents of candidates offering them a confirm seat in a government medical college in the state for anything ranging from Rs 15 to Rs 25 lakh.

Another parent told The Tribune on condition of anonymity that he was contacted by someone in Mohali offering a seat for Rs 15 lakh. Yet Another parent named a Chandigarh-based application-form vendor stating that he had promised a seat for her daughter for Rs 25 lakh.

Sources said those agents “instructed” the candidate to leave the answer sheet blank. All that the candidate was supposed to do was to go to the centre and sign the attendance sheet.

Confirming this, a parent of a candidate called from Jalandhar to say that his daughter had noticed that some students at her centre left most of their answer sheets blank.

This is not the first time that the PMT examination has been in the middle of a paper leak controversy. Last year, following a report in The Tribune, the Punjab Government had deployed special officers to supervise the university staff during the examination.

“We had associated our staff and principals on duty at the various centres. Later, during the checking of the answer sheets, an IAS rank officer was on duty along with the university staff,” said Mr Satish Chandra, the then Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Punjab.

“We did not conduct an inquiry into the reports last year since we did not have a specific complaint. But, this year, since there is proof of leak, the situation is different,” he added.


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